Region

North America

Blood Trade — Memphis and the Mexican drug war: A violent venture hits home

They found Marcus Turner in a ditch in Olive Branch, naked and shot to death.

It was the end of a young man's life and a grim reminder of a larger truth: The Mexican drug war isn't as far away as you might think.

The order that led to Turner's death was phoned in from Mexico, prosecutors say. They say the man on the other end of the line was Craig Petties, alleged to be one of the most powerful and violent drug entrepreneurs the area has ever seen.

Global Maternal Health Writing Contest

In June 2010, the Pulitzer Center again partnered with Helium to produce the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing Contest. In this round, contestants were challenged with the following prompt:

Hundreds of thousands of women die each year due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. What are the first steps to making a difference?

Maternal Health in Mexico: A perilous journey

OUTSIDE the main hospital in San Cristóbal de las Casas, women in traditional multicoloured garb queue up to see a doctor. Many are pregnant or carry infants on their backs. One expectant mother says she fears there will not be a bed for her when she enters labour—all too common in the overcrowded hospital. Tales of deaths from hypertension, haemorrhage or infection during or after giving birth are common in the second city of the state of Chiapas. In a nearby village, one doctor recalls a woman whose journey took so long that she died on the street outside his clinic.

Tackling Tuberculosis in Southern Mexico

Efforts to control tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant forms of the disease face extra hurdles in Mexico's poorer states. Samuel Loewenberg reports from Chiapas, southern Mexico. The village of Los Chorros lies in a lush valley reached by a dirt track at the end of a mountain road that winds past brick and wooden huts with thatched roofs, and terraced agricultural fields (see webvideo). At the top of a small hill is a yellow concrete building with a corrugated metal roof.

Maricela Zurita Cruz: Voice for Mexican Indigenous Women's Health

Growing up in the mountain village of San Juan Quiahije, in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, Maricela Zurita Cruz saw from an early age the special health burdens that affect women there. The women face many obstacles: they are Indigenous, and so confront special problems of language and racism; they have little education and must deal with strong macho attitudes in their own communities; and they are poor people who face difficulty accessing the state's already stretched health-care system.

The Dangers of Childbirth in Southern Mexico

Among dozens of other brightly dressed women, Eugenia Urbina has been waiting on the stairs of the main hospital in this central Chiapas town for nearly two hours. Nine months pregnant with her third child, the 24-year-old seeks prenatal care. The long wait makes her worry that when the time comes to give birth, the hospital will not have room for her.

"It happens a lot," Urbina said, and if it does, she'll have to pay more than she can afford to drive around in a taxi for up to an hour to find a clinic that can take her.

Mexico: Ethnic and Gender Inequalities

I first meet Maria Francisca Mendoza on the roof deck of a woman's organization known colloquially as Casa de la Mujer, where along with five other young women she is putting the finishing touches on a vagina made out of clay. They are now starting in on a set of brightly colored Fallopian Tubes.

Mexico: Protests in Oaxaca

I have only been in Oaxaca a few days when the protests start. In this, Mexico's second poorest state, political upheaval and fights over social justice go hand in hand with languid tourism, a vibrant art scene, and some of Mexico's best cooking. The central plaza, known as the Zocalo, is usually a giant tourist attraction and town meeting place, filled with overpriced restaurants, hawkers selling curios, old women pushing textiles, and children selling cigarettes and candy.

World Water Day Writing Contest

In March 2010, the Pulitzer Center again partnered with Helium to produce the Global Issues/Citizen Voices Writing contest. In this round, contestants were challenged to craft essays related to international water issues with the following prompt:

Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation claims 4,500 lives a day. What should we do about it?

Read winning World Water Day writing contest essay by Winn Mete